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Beverley Borgman Harris, 81

Dan McClelland


Beverley Borgman Harris, 81, who is remembered most for her servant heart, generosity, and warm hospitality died on December 8 at the Pinebrook Center in Venice, Florida. Born in Minneapolis, MN on May 5, 1935, she is the daughter of the late George and Alice (Hanson) Borgman. Having grown up in a military family she attended twelve different schools before graduating from Washburn High School (Minneapolis, MN), and then attended the University of California (Tokyo, Japan) and University of Colorado (Boulder, CO).
Her career included the distinction of being the first woman to be appointed as Deputy Commissioner of Environmental Conservation for Intergovernmental Relations in the state of New York. Beverley brought to that position a broad background of legislative and administrative experience with the State of New York as director of the Joint Legislative Committee, director of State and Local Relations for the State Assembly, staff director for the Assembly Majority Whip, and as administrative officer to a regional planning and project review agency. She later served as Executive Secretary for the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board, and Executive Vice President for the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce. She had previous experience with private industry in the exploration departments of major oil companies, executive secretary in various law firms, and started her career as a civilian employee with the Military Intelligence Service Group in Tokyo, Japan during the Korean Conflict.
She founded and was president of the Clarkstown Women’s Republican Club of New City, NY, and was a member of the Federation of Women’s Republican Clubs of NYS and the National Federation of Republican Women.
After retiring from New York State politics, she and her husband, Glenn, moved to Florida in 1992 and set up residence in Bradenton and then Venice. They loved to entertain and were often found enjoying a morning round of golf (Bev held bragging rights for a hole-in-one). When Glenn died in 2002, she turned her attention to serving the community by bringing smiles to those in need in the persona of hospice clown “Flibbertigibit”. Her contribution earned her the President’s Volunteer Service award.
Beverley was predeceased by her first husband, Carl Sawaya, and is survived by her son John Sawaya (wife, Cynthia) and granddaughters Melissa Sawaya and Monica Resch (husband, John). She was predeceased by her second husband, New York State Assemblyman Glenn Harris, and survived by stepdaughter Glynn Kelli Best and step granddaughter Shari Lynn Ybarra (husband, Rocky Joe).  Bev is further survived by her brother, John Borgman, nieces Martha Nicely and Nancy McGruther, nephew John Borgman and their families. She was predeceased by her brother Warren Borgman and sister-in-law, Lois Borgman. Bev is also survived by her dear friends John Hatcher, Adele Naugle, and Carol Simon.
A Memorial Service was held at the Venice Presbyterian Church, 111 Firenze Ave., East Venice, FL 34285 on Saturday December 17 at 2p.m. A receptionfollowed at Jacaranda Trace, 3600 William Penn Way, Venice, FL 34293 on the second floor in the Rec Room. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Beverley’s memory may be made to Tidewell Hospice Venice, 220 Wexford Blvd, Venice, FL34293.